University of Florida to honor Tom Petty with honorary doctorate

After his death in October 2017, Florida university hosted a memorial event for rocker Tom Petty, and now the university is honoring him with an honorary doctorate.

The University of Florida announced Monday that they are awarding an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Tom Petty. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, who was voted into the Hall in 2007, died in October 2017 at the age of 66.

The college’s honor was made possible in part through the college’s new Tom Petty Scholarship, according to its website.

“Tom Petty personified music and life as we once knew it,” University of Florida president Kent Fuchs said in a statement. “Tom’s high-energy energy shined through his songs like a beacon. He loved his fans and his music transcended all of us as a shared experience.”

Members of the Tom Petty tribute band “Wildflowers” will perform on campus with the group’s bassist James Crabtree, guitarist Chris Leahey and drummer Riley Gambill during Petty Week. Fans are welcome to attend and join in the fun as well.

The college will hold additional commemorative events throughout the week, including presentations and honorary degrees.

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